Durbin Calls Out Senate Republican Plan To Dismantle Affordable Care Act Through Filling Supreme Court Vacancy

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, joined Senate Democrats in a series of floor speeches last night reflecting on the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and reiterating that the Senate should comply with Justice Ginsburg’s dying wish and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) own precedent to wait to fill the Supreme Court vacancy until after the next presidential inauguration.

“She had one last request, one dying wish. She handed it to her granddaughter, and she said ‘let the next President pick my successor on the Supreme Court,’” said Durbin. “Then of course, Senator McConnell announced a 180 degree reversal in principle. Instead of waiting until the election and the new inauguration of a president to fill her vacancy, he made it clear that Republicans in the Senate are hell-bent to fill this vacancy as fast as possible.”

In his speech, Durbin argued that McConnell’s reversal on filling a Supreme Court vacancy in a presidential election year is a thinly-veiled effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after numerous failed attempts to demolish the law in Congress. With President Trump and McConnell actively working to dismantle the ACA, Durbin emphasized the dangerous repercussions of filling this judicial vacancy without voters’ input as the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the constitutionality of the law just one week after the November 3, 2020, election. Without the ACA, millions of Americans will lose their access to affordable, quality health insurance and coverage for their pre-existing conditions during a global pandemic.

“The Trump Administration and the Republicans in Congress have been determined to kill the Affordable Care Act from the day it passed. There were over 50 roll call votes in the U.S. House of Representatives to eliminate the Affordable Care Act. They all might have passed the House but they weren’t taking them up in a Democratic Senate. They waited for the day, and the day finally came. Senator McConnell had his majority, and he was setting out to eliminate the Affordable Care Act here on the floor of the Senate… John McCain’s ‘no’ saved the Affordable Care Act for millions of Americans,” said Durbin. “Did the Republicans learn their lesson? No. They decided that if they couldn’t win it on the floor of the House, and they couldn’t win it on the floor of the Senate, they’d win it across the street at the Supreme Court. That is what this is all about.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.